Archive for the 'Donations' CategoryPage 2 of 4

Hi CNN.com Readers =)

Hi! If you just found this website because of this CNN.com article let me give you a quick introduction. I’m Shawn and “The Uncultured Project” isn’t a charity, organization, or anything formal. Think of it as “citizen journalism” meets “citizen philanthropy”.

I raise funds online (as an individual – alas, not tax deductible) and I give 100% of what I raise away to charitable causes. And I mean 100% – I even have a friend who covers the PayPal fees of your donation (for now at least). I then show you were the money goes via YouTube and/or Twitter. Sometimes both as you can see in this video.

Most of my work focuses primarily on Bangladesh because I have an ancestry there and still have a few aunts & uncles who live there (although they’ve kinda shunned me for pursuing a project like this – but that’s another story). But, poverty exists everywhere – even around your street corner. That’s why I decided to focus on the LA Regional Food Bank – you don’t need to go overseas to help people.

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can watch my food bank video by clicking here (it’s 3 minutes long). If you want to know more about “The Uncultured Project” you can watch this (it’s also 3 minutes). And if you have a bit more time, please do check out this video of a water project I did in Bangladesh that took over a year to complete (it’s a 4 minute video).

If you are wondering how to support my work – well, donating isn’t the biggest way. The biggest way is by helping me build a bigger voice on YouTube. Please consider signing up for a YouTube account (it’s free) and subscribing to my channel on YouTube. The bigger the voice this project can get, the better the chances that sustainability and more opportunities can come around the corner.

I also want to give a shout-out to my friends Hank & John Green (who were also quoted in that article). Without Hank & John, I wouldn’t have started to accept online donations from the public (they also get automatically notified every time you make a project donation). Also a huge thanks to my friends working at YouTube (many of whom I got to meet IRL) who made this interview with CNN possible.

Stick around. There are lots of hurdles – but I’m positive the best is yet to come.

The Rise of the Middle Man in Fundraising

On January 20th, Henry Green was born to John & Sarah Green. Henry’s parents, the generous spirits that they are, asked their friends, family, and well-wishers to forgo the standard deluge of baby presents. Instead, they asked people to make a donation to help fight malaria through Malaria No More.

Malaria No More is one of the world’s leading charities fighting malaria in Africa. For exactly $10, they can protect an entire sleeping site from malaria for up to five years. As of the writing of this post, donations on behalf of Henry Green are now enough to protect over 250 sleeping sites (or an estimated 1,000 people).

That’s the good news. The bad news is that, of the 250 sleeping sites that Malaria No More could be helping with this donation, only 231 sleeping sites will be served. That’s an estimated 75 people (most likely much more) that won’t be (but should be) sleeping under a mosquito net.

Find out more after the jump…

Continue reading ‘The Rise of the Middle Man in Fundraising’

Back Home from Disaster Relief

Thanks to Morgan for all those blog posts – I couldn’t have kept you guys up-to-date without her help.

Now that I’m back from the disaster area, I will be closing the Cyclone Aila Relief Fund in the next 24 hours. I’m leaving it open for one more day just in case there is anyone who wanted to donate earlier but couldn’t.

I also don’t want my efforts to be mistaken for official fundraising for Save the Children (or any charity for that matter) – so the sooner I close the donation page, the less confusion there will be.

Thanks again for all the support this project has been getting. And, as always, don’t feel obliged to donate. Just stick around – there’s a whole lot more I’d like to do if I can keep this project going.

Crystal Clear Community Water

This is a bottle of Evian water:

Evian

You can buy yours for about $2.25 at a convenience store for about a 1.5 L bottle.

Here’s what you guys spent your money on instead:

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Pond Sand Filter Water Samples (click for larger size)

This is water samples from the near-finished Pond Sand Filter. Paid for by donations from you and voted democratically upon in Challenge Poverty. This will serve over 50 families in rural Bangladesh and has the potential (if maintained inexpensively by the local community) for approximately ten years.

Just some of the 50+ Families to Benefit from This

Just some of the 50+ Families to Benefit from This

Thanks to Save the Children for tirelessly working on this to make sure this small rural community gets to drink water as clear as if it came from the French Alps.

Thank You YouTube

For this year’s Project for Awesome, I decided to pull out all the stops and show you guys a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing but haven’t had the time to put into individual episodes or videos. I keep saying that this project is less about me and more about the community behind it – hopefully this latest video helps convey that.

And, yeah, this video does use copyrighted music by Coldplay (part of EMI Records). I did enough research into YouTube’s agreement with EMI Records and am fairly certain this video won’t be taken down. But, of course, I also had to forfeit any chance of earning any ad revenue and (as I later found out) any reasonable chance of having this video being featured or promoted. EMI can also reserve the right to take down this video, region lock it, or place ads on it where they can earn all the ad revenue from it (just like the Counting Crows & Universal Music have region locked my Cyclone Sidr video and take all the ad revenue from it).

But that’s cool. This was a kind of video I wanted to make for ages. I just never could find the right match of visuals and music until I heard “Life in Technicolor ii” by Coldplay.

Tour de Nerdfighting

Tour de Nerdfighting (Plano, TX)

Hello from Plano, Texas! I’ve got some great news. First, I got to meet Hank & John Green. They are even more amazing in real life than they are online. If you want to see them, they are going on a Cross-America trip called the Tour de Nerdfighting. Check this map to see when and where they will be next – you can even RSVP by clicking on the city location.

Second, if you’ve ever wanted to make a donation but 1) Can’t or don’t want to use PayPal and 2) Don’t like how PayPal takes a cut of every donation – than there is a great opportunity for you to get involved in this project in a way that guarantees 100% of your donation is used. And best of all? I don’t ever have to touch a dime.

Hank and John will be accepting donations at every stop of their tour up until November 12th. On November 12th, they’ll be in Westport, Conneticut – the home town of Save the Children USA. If all goes according to plan – they’ll be handing over the donations directly to Save the Children. That money will be spent based on how you guys vote in my Challenge Poverty video. Voting is still open – so please do get involved! 🙂

I don’t have to touch your money, 100% of the funds raised go straight to helping the poor, you get to decide how it’s spent, and it all helps one of the world’s greatest international charities. How more awesome can it get?

Click the jump for some photos from the Plano event…

Continue reading ‘Tour de Nerdfighting’

The Change We Want To See

A few months back, I made a blog post saying I don’t like to flaunt my religious beliefs. Part of the reason for that is because it doesn’t matter what my beliefs are. What matters is that – no matter our differences – we unite under a common goal: to fight (and eventually end) extreme global poverty.

In fact, I had written:

In my opinion, peace on Earth will come when we stop hating what is different among us and start loving what it is we have in common. When we finally do that, I think we will find that we share the same wisdom – though we may find it in different places and from different books.

This little project may not have changed the world – but it seems to have created a little bubble of the kind of world that a lot of us would like to see. I started to realize this when I started going over those who had made donations to this project. Take a look at some of the countries people have been donating from:

What makes this even more interesting is that it seems that virtually every race, religion, and ethnicity has contributed to this project. Corresponding with a few of the donors I know for a fact that atheists/agnostics, Jews, Christians (and not just Catholics from Notre Dame), Muslims, and Hindus have all contributed to this project.

I used to think Mahatma Gandhi’s phrase “be the change you want to see” was just cliché beaten to death by countless charities, fundraisers, and organizations. But, I gotta say… I’m starting to become a believer in that saying.

(Photo Credit: Flag Icons Made by IconDrawer.com)